Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Lookin At Lee eyes Preakness glory after strong run in Derby

Lookin At Lee eyes Preakness glory after strong run in Derby

"Pimlico race 13, $60 to win on the 5".

So how much attention the Belmont receives in 2017 largely depends on what Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming does in the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.

And there's not too much to suggest that isn't exactly how things will unfold. Post time is 5:48 p.m. CDT with live coverage on NBC (Resort Channel 4) and legal wagering at Oaklawn Park and online at www.oaklawnanywhere.com.

The Preakness has been relatively predictable over the past few years, as the first or second betting choices have won 14 of the 16 renewals, including Triple Crown victor American Pharoah in 2015.

Though the odds maker at Pimlico may not have been impressed, Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Always Dreaming, expects another close race on Saturday.

Lookin At Lee jockey Corey Lanerie admitted his horse will need "help" and "luck" because Always Dreaming "looked mighty tough".

"He's the first horse like this that I've had in my career", said Jorge Carreno, the regular rider who has exercised the colt each morning this week.

Lukas, 81, has won 14 Triple Crown races and owns 20 victories in the Breeder's Cup. On the other other hand mediocre horses don't win Triple Crowns, history tells us. I'm always a fan of horses who continue to impove and he has never a step backward on the Beyer Speed Figure scale in eight career starts. CLOUD COMPUTING has only raced three times and has run fast. Don't even think about them - not even on superfectas.

The Bodemeister colt was drawn in stall four, and Pletcher said:"He's generally a very good horse away from the gate, and we'll just try to come away, establish some position, and see what some other horses are doing". "The first two races were so easy for him that I don't think that we really took much out of him". The winner's share of the $1.5-million Preakness purse is worth $900,000. A good exotic horse, though, at 15-1.

Hence, the 11th-place finisher in the Derby, is listed at 20-1 on the morning line.

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Classic Empire finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby after getting bounced around and having a rough early trip two weeks ago. He didn't with Always Dreaming.

Well, maybe, but at 4-5 and 2-1, respectively, that's bad value. "I think those horses that are 1-2-3-4-5 will probably be the ones on the board".

The horse will run under the ownership flag of Judge Lanier Racing (named after Tom's grandfather).

The importance to me is that Classic Empire is entering the 3rd race of his current form cycle and should be at or near peak condition.

Sticking point: The brisk two-week turnaround from Kentucky Derby to Preakness. He could be a factor late in the Preakness when he comes from behind.

There's a pair of 15-1 shots: Gunnevera (seventh in the Derby) and Conquest Mo Money, whose owners paid $150,000 to supplement their horse. We're just focused on hopefully breaking cleanly and smoothly and letting him run to the first turn a little bit.

Were you aware that only two of the 12 Triple Crown champions - War Admiral in 1937 and Count Fleet in 1943 - went undefeated during their 3-year-old campaigns? But a winning ticket at decent odds is always exciting. Conquest Mo Money; 2.

Pletcher called post five "an ideal spot for Classic Empire".

Recommended exotics: Throw Always Pleasing in if you want on trifectas and superfectas, though the payoff will be low.

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